The Campaign Launch

It's campaign kickoff season, with Emerge women launching their campaigns for state legislature all over Vermont. It's exciting to see our network coming together for each other, as women put themselves out there to run. Alumna Kathleen James of Manchester Center, who is running for Vermont House in the Bennington-4 District shared her thoughts with her Emerge Vermont Class of 2018 sisters just before her launch party in early April:
Over the past few weeks, my campaign team and I have been working hard to get ready for the launch. We are an Emerge-dominated crew, with three members of our class on board as campaign managers and consultants. They’ll be helping me with everything, from strategy to messaging and more.
In thinking back over our six months of working together, I can say with zero hesitation that there's no way I’d be running for state representative if it weren’t for Emerge. The nuts-and-bolts training, the information and resources, the timelines and projects and handouts: I actually know what I’m doing! And when I don’t, I know where to turn.
As I prepare to launch my campaign, I feel confident as a candidate, and this confidence bolsters how I conduct myself at events, how I talk to people about my campaign, and so much more. At strategy meetings with supporters here in Manchester, at least a half-dozen people have asked me, “How do you know all of this? How do you know what to do?” EMERGE is my answer.
Even more important, though, has been the emotional support — the incredible affirmation, inspiration, and friendship we’ve all provided to each other. To stand up in front of a room of strangers on Day One and delivery a hastily written, impromptu stump speech with my hands sweating — and to hear everyone clap! and see everyone smile! — was nothing short of life-changing for me. 
I am running for reasons that every single one of us shares — a deep, passionate, almost primal calling to stand up, take action, help others, make a difference. To be heard, and to help other people be heard, at a time when our nation stands at a crossroads.
Our alumna are nothing short of incredible. These women will change the world. Of that you can be sure.

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